Welp, it happened. After almost 3 years of avoiding the coronavirus, our family finally caught it, testing positive the night before Thanksgiving. Yep, you read that right. We tested positive and immediately moved into isolation at our home the night before Thanksgiving. Here's where I take a brief moment to plug vaccines - 3/4 of our family members tested positive, and we had minor symptoms for no more than a day. Compare that with two years ago when 3,000 people were dying per day from COVID... I am SO grateful for our scientists and for vaccines. But getting back on track...
Thanksgiving was lonely in isolation, and I had a lot of quiet time to reflect. Don't get me wrong - I had plenty of Netflix and chill time, read some of my neglected books, and did a healthy portion of doomscrolling. And I reflected on my sadness at being separated from my family and not being able to enjoy one of my favorite meals of the year with my loved ones. I reflected on how much we rely on our human rituals for connection, and how empty it can feel when they are gone. I thought about all of the new Parents at home, stuck to the bed or couch feeding their newborn baby, feeling sleep deprived and lonely and sore and swollen.
Being a new parent, especially in the age of COVID and other dangerous respiratory diseases, can be VERY isolating. Balancing the need to keep the family healthy with our very real NEED to connect with other adult humans can be exhausting. Add to that sleep deprivation and/or emotional complications such as anxiety, depression, OCD, Bipolar, or Psychosis; connection can be downright debilitating. And yet, safe connection brings healing. That's the whole principle behind my desire to start the virtual Parent Collective peer support group. Research supports that being able to speak our truths about our experiences during pregnancy, the postpartum, about birth, feeding, coparenting, sex after baby, etc - telling the truth and being seen and heard is revolutionary, and helps set us free. I really hope you consider joining us at our virtual group built specifically for postpartum parents. A brave space to show up as you are, whatever that looks like today. Join us in co-creating a place of non-judgment, and an advice-free zone (unless you ask for it! we don't do unsolicited advice). Parent Collective is a place where our differences are held lovingly and celebrated for the innate wisdom they bring us as parents and partners and children and siblings and all the other roles that we play in life.